Liked Joe Matt so much, decided to read another book of his this Sunday evening – a short comic memoir about his childhood called Fair Weather.
Turned out to be an easy going 100-or-so pageturner about two boys' weekend in suburban Pennsylvania. So charming, it reminded me a few Soviet childhood stories I read as a boy in late 80s – written in the post war Soviet Union, 50s to 70s, I guess, about kids looking for potential spies or exploring neighborhood basements etc etc. All those Soviet young commie propaganda authors long forgotten by all but myself. [sigh]
My honest opinion: this is a perfect comic book for a teenager to read – and can be as perfect for a grumpy old fellow like me who smiled sadly remembering his childhood long gone. Too much swearing for a children's book, some parents might say – oh well, I did swear as well as a youngster, if I remember correctly. Bikes, swearing and ножички, that was cool. Oh youth.
Joe Matt is merciless to himself – and I guess, gets more and more so with each book he writes (draws). The Poor Bastard precedes Spent, Matt's well known book depicting his lifelong addiction to masturbation and porn – and Bastard is from pre-Spent times, when Joe had girlfriends or aspired to have them at least.
The funniest is chapter 1, no doubt, The Girl from Ipanema story, describing Joe's big time crush on his girlfriend's Trish co-worker named Frankie – and how Trish finds out about this from a comic strip. Classic.
Funniest about it is that it turned out to be not a fictitious character – I did enjoy reading the interview with the original Frankie girl, who also found out about her being Joe's crush from this book.
Insecure and picky about girls' looks, Matt keeps on trying to find his one and only in bold and unsavvy moves. Overall, sheer fun. Sveta from Ivanovo отдыхает.
And yet again, I had no idea what I was buying. I only knew that Joe Matt is one of the three prominent comic book artists who stayed friends and put each other in their books while they lived and worked in Canada (for those not too familiar with the scene, that’s Chester Brown, Seth and Joe himself) – but just like with Chet’s last book, oh well, who knew.
They all have addictions of a sort. Chester, as I recently found out, is hooked on paid sex, Seth – on collecting comic book strips from early 20th century – and Joe – just to cut it short – this book is about Joe’s addiction to porn and masturbation – and how that drives his life. Too low on self-respect, too deep in self-dissection, too busy with porn collection, too tired from you-know-what. Quite on par with Chester’s very frank book already mentioned above on his dedication and love for the red light industry – but our friend Joe is living in a pre-www world and is focusing on his big VHS porn collection instead, which he even edits! Poor soul, a few more years and it all would come to him in all shapes and colors on the net.
All in all, Joe is funny, he is smart and he is ruthless to himself – no doubt, I need to read more of his.